Friday, April 29, 2011

SkyWatch Friday ~ Why am I here?

 In 2002/2003 I sat at the table with 20 other islanders and worked on what was to be known as the Heritage Tourism Strategy.  Often when traditional economies fail(in our case logging and commercial fishing) communities often turn to tourism as their panacea.  However tourism can have the same devastating affects as commercial logging and/or over fishing, turning once liveable pristine places into overrun seasonal landscapes gutting them of core services and long term viability.
The fella who helped our group through this process, Robert Sandford told us something that has never left me..."Each day remind yourself why you choose to live here and never let anything else get in the way of that."   What he wanted us to remember is the essence of why we live where we live so that when we are called upon to make choices we will make the right choices.  If we do not remind ourselves every single day change will happen for the wrong reasons.
I came to Haida Gwaii fourteen years ago but I had known since I was nine that I would come here!  It took half a lifetime to get here but everyday I know why I am here.  It is not always easy, work can be sporatic, family is half a continent away and some of them really don't understand "why" and the cost of everything going up can be daunting but I still know that this is where "my puzzle piece fits"!
It is when I take my morning walk along the beach
and see the incredible beauty that surrounds me
that I am reminded why I am here.
The human race have a tendancy to not do things in moderation, it seems to be all or nothing.  We were reminded while working on the Heritage Tourism Strategy that if there were special places on these islands that we wanted to keep special we should think long and hard before identifying them or risk them becoming our "best kept secret" that everyone knows about!
Where ever you choose to live, honour it, be a part of it and remind yourself daily why you are there...a job(money) should never be the primary reason.  
For me it is the connection to the land, to walk on Mother Earth and to know that we are all connected,

to appreciate the incredible beauty that surrounds us everywhere if we just take the time to look
and give thanks!
Out side of the first four photos(the beach at Tlell) these where taken on North Beach in Naikoon Provincial Park on the northeast corner of Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands.  Although others had been on the beach we were the only ones there on this beautiful low tide.  The view through the cracked windshield is the stunning drive through what the locals call the "Magic Forest", a protected Ecological Zone.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Watery Wordless Wednesday!!

My only words to you is click on either of the logos to view more Watery or Wordless Wednesdays!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

SkyWatch Friday ~ Good Friday

This feels like a Good Friday sky. 
Have a wonderful long weekend everyone.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Beach love


Monday, April 18, 2011

My World Tuesday ~ the wild southwest coast

I am back on Haida Gwaii after six weeks in Victoria, British Columbia doing training and housesitting.  I have been to Victoria several times but only in the area of the Inner Harbour, the area the tourists visit.  I knew of places like Esquimalt, Metchosin, Sooke and Port Renfrew but had never experienced them.  What amazed me the most about the Greater Victoria area was their public transit system that lets you get to some pretty wild places for a mere $2.50 bus ride.  One of these places was East Sooke Regional Park located on the extreme southwest tip of Vancouver Island and a beautiful 30 minute drive/ride from Victoria.
East Sooke Regional Park is the largest park in the Capital Regional District of Victoria covering 1422 hectares(3512 acres) of westcoast wilderness.  There are over 50 km(30 miles) of trails through old homestead orchards(above) and farmland(below), dry bald moutain tops(didn't make it) with panoramic views and wild west coast trails(what this post is about!) that includes 10 km(6 miles) of permanently protected virgin coastline.
A friend and I entered the park at the old Aylard Farm homestead in search of the T'Sou-kes(pronounced Sooke) petroglyphs.  We thought we had walked the whole ten kms of rugged coastline however if you notice on the map above we barely made a dent in the trail system(our route is marked in red)! It sure felt like 10 kms!
The vistas were breathtaking!
Isolated anchorage at Campbell Cove
It has been a cool spring but some flowers were in bloom.
The climbs were not always easy but the payoff was worth it...
Sometimes you got a surprise
 and always a great view such as this one at Creyke Point
There are lots of beautiful pocket beaches(high tide) with crystal clear water,
air plants like "old man's beard" and the red barked Arbutus trees,
wind swept spruce and douglas fir
and amazing geology everywhere you looked.
Rock sculpted by water.
Art created by nature!
Ring necked seal petroglyph "bruised" into the rock at Alldridge Point which was designated a Provincal Heritage site in 1927.  There was a second petroglyph but I could not find it!  These were "bruised" into the rock by the Coast Salish (the T'Sou-kes, prounounced Sooke) thousands of years ago and was a technique unique to the Strait of Juan du Fuca.
The power of mother nature was evident every where.  Some of these stunted coastal pines were 300 years old!
The view across the Strait of Juan du Fuca at the Olympic Mountains of Washington State.
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Friday, April 01, 2011

SkyWatch Friday ~ Change

When I left the house this morning to a hike the skies were clear blue.  A twenty minute drive to East Sooke Regional Park and the skies were already changing.
The blue sky was quickly covered and snow covered mountains and clouds were hard to seperate.

The weather and the skies are truly fascinating. 
(All photos are looking southeast across Juan du Fuca Strait.)
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